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ronv
05-03-2010, 02:08 PM
Lots of plants... Spontaneous purchase... I bought two bags of plants yesterday at the club auction. The first was the "big bag of plants" that sold early in the auction. Then at the end, Ken picked up all the loose plants that our quest speaker didn't use and put them in a bag. I bought that too. Sooooo I have far to many plants. I normally buy a bag or two of plants at each auction. In a month they are dead so I buy another bag... This time I would like to get a few to live a little while. I have dedicated three 20L aquariums to the rooted plants. One has flourite substrate. The other two have pool filter sand. They are lighted by a 4' shop light with two 40w Ecolux florescent tubes (6500k). Open top tanks with the lights suspended about 8" above the top... What else should I do? I wouldn't mind spending a little $ for lights or dosing supplies but I don't want to go crazy with it.

geotek
05-03-2010, 03:43 PM
I have a 20 gal and a 10 gal end to end with a 4' shop light with two 40watt bulbs and the tanks are med light, even though the light is only 4 or 5 inches above the water surface, so you could possibly drop the lights an inch or two if you want. Do the tanks have any fish, how many? Have they been set up a while? If they have had fish for a while, you may be okay without fertilizing for a few weeks. The flourite and pool filter sand essentially have no available plant nutrients by themselves.
The big bag of plants was mine, and they were mostly med light plants grown in tanks lit with one or two T12 bulbs with a low fish load. In fact, many of the plants were growing just as a floating mass of greenery. I was not adding any fertilizer to those tanks.

ronv
05-03-2010, 03:48 PM
Thanks for your reply. The tanks had fish until last weekend. I lightly vacumed the gravel but it still contains a bit of "gunk". No fish now. I could lower the light. I could also add another "shop light" to double the amount of light. What do you think?

planted_one
05-03-2010, 06:04 PM
take it slow on the lighting is my advice. If you go crazy and add too much you will have algae in no time. Then you will wish you had co2, so my advice is to invest in a co2 setup if you haven't already. Good, consistent co2 is the key to growth with little to no algae. Dosing is then based on growth rate which is achieved by lighting intensity. The key is to learn as you go and figure out what works best for your maintenance routine. Water changes at least once a week seem to help.

This is based on my on experience with my first planted tank, others are free to correct and add to this.

by the way, I was unable to make the meeting. How was the aquascaping lecture?

Larry Bugg
05-03-2010, 06:33 PM
A 20L can be a challenge planted due to the height of the tank. I would not go crazy with the lights till you have had it planted for a while. Too much light and a 20L can quickly become algae city. The other issue you will face with the height will be with stem plants in particular. You will find yourself having to trim often.

ronv
05-03-2010, 07:46 PM
Bugman, I have the 125gal that I got from Roger. Would I be better off trying that as a planted tank? Again it is open top. I have plenty of shop lights so could set up as much lighting as I need. I thought about it initially but decided that it would be to deep.

Planted one. Thanks for your advice also. So you think I should go ahead and "bite the bullet" and get a CO2 setup? I'm not sure I want to get in that deep.

geotek
05-03-2010, 07:55 PM
If you use shallow tanks, such as 5 gal, 10 gal, and 20 long, stick with one dual bulb shop light. What are the dimensions of the 125 gal?
Having gotten into pressurized CO2 and high light to start off my aquatic plant growing, I would recommend you stick with no CO2 and lower lighting. There are lots of cheap, low light plants at the auctions as well.
Stem plants will tend to grow out of the short tanks quickly, then again, that allows you to see the emersed (above water ) growth which can be fun as well.

Larry Bugg
05-03-2010, 11:32 PM
If you use shallow tanks, such as 5 gal, 10 gal, and 20 long, stick with one dual bulb shop light. What are the dimensions of the 125 gal?
Having gotten into pressurized CO2 and high light to start off my aquatic plant growing, I would recommend you stick with no CO2 and lower lighting. There are lots of cheap, low light plants at the auctions as well.
Stem plants will tend to grow out of the short tanks quickly, then again, that allows you to see the emersed (above water ) growth which can be fun as well.
Ron, I would agree with this as well. My first venture into planted tanks was a high light, Co2. Wish I had started out with the low to mid light no Co2 and worked my way up. The 125 is not that deep. The big difference is in debth, front to back. Tanks like a 20L or the 55's I have planted do not really have the debth you need to really do it right. My next planted tank will be a 75 or 90 just for that reason.

geotek
05-04-2010, 07:48 PM
An easy all in one, fertilizer for the plants is the "plantguild green" available from plantguild.com. I have used the product before and a $9 bottle will last you a long time if you don't have a large CO2 injected tank to feed. It's a PMDD dosing regime which should work fine for you. The advantage is all you do is count drops of liquid you put in. No measuring or weighing out fertilizers, no dilutions, just follow the directions and up the dose gradually if the pennywort seems to be getting pale.

portableac7
05-05-2010, 11:28 AM
Lots of plants... Spontaneous purchase... I bought two bags of plants yesterday at the club auction. The first was the "big bag of plants" that sold early in the auction. Then at the end, Ken picked up all the loose plants that our quest speaker didn't use and put them in a bag. I bought that too. Sooooo I have far to many plants. I normally buy a bag or two of plants at each auction. In a month they are dead so I buy another bag... This time I would like to get a few to live a little while. I have dedicated three 20L aquariums to the rooted plants. One has flourite substrate. The other two have pool filter sand. They are lighted by a 4' shop light with two 40w Ecolux florescent tubes (6500k). Open top tanks with the lights suspended about 8" above the top... What else should I do? I wouldn't mind spending a little $ for lights or dosing supplies but I don't want to go crazy with it.
It is not easily situation........:D